The Reading Guru is hosting an excerpt from political thriller “Jack Canon’s American Destiny”. Enjoy!
The only thing that gave me a worse vibe than these two was Gene’s taste in decorating. The ceilings were about 30 feet high and three walls held books up to about the first 15 feet, after which was a very large landing around three quarters of the room. The wall opposite the door was made up of five floor-to-ceiling arched windows. The bottom six feet of each had colonial muttons and were partially opened, allowing the outside winter cold to fight with the heat in the room. On the landings above the bookshelves were housed various artifacts of torture.
Gene saw me noticing, “These are from the collection of King Henry,” he boasted.
There were guillotines and stretching racks and other devices all made of aged wood and black iron. Some had big weathered chain links hanging from them and leather straps. There were black iron turning wheels, the sight was gruesome.
Gene motioned to a large axe with a semicircular blade and an unusually long, thick handle.
“This is my prized piece of the entire collection – the axe used to behead Katherine, Henry’s youngest bride.” Mounted next to the axe, on a polished cherry post, was a scrap of parchment. Next to it, carved in gold lettering over black onyx, was inscribed an onlooker. The parchment had faded to an almost illegible degree and was kept behind glass.
Gene said, “The onlooker’s account is sealed in helium, just like the Declaration of Independence, to preserve it. I’ve had it authenticated by historians, expert in the period.” The words were transferred onto the stone.
The eerie account told of the misty morning when the helpless fair-haired teenager, a mere girl, forced to lay under the weight of the wealth of England, was led to her death.
I read the inscribed: Queen Katherine emerged just before nine in the morning. A rain the night before had turned the courtyard muddy to our ankles. The streets containing the foul smell of chicken scratch and horse urine slurried into the mix. Gawkers’ pushed for position and strained to see the delicate fawn-like Katherine as she walked barefoot, clothed only in a very plain and simple linen dress. The exposed skin of her upper chest was so pale I could see the ghostly blue vein patchwork just beneath. The last time I had seen the young queen she was amazing, the most beautiful woman in all England. Fancily dressed and bright, riding in an open coach smiling sweetly waving to her subjects, I fancied the thought our eyes might have met for a second.
“Spill her blood!” A spectator called out. I thought, what cowards this mob, content to stand by and watch. Greedily clinging to their own lives–any one of which could be wrenched from him in a second.
This bitter gray morning, the little Queen made her way slowly up to the old worn wooden steps, pausing briefly, turning sad doe eyes back to the crowd. A pitiful thin waif of a child so helpless and demure, Katherine continued up the stairs carefully gripping the railing as if it were her mothers hand, that somehow she might be swept away from all this.
Once upon the platform, facing the crowd full on, her tiny limbs were exposed and pale, a simple dress hanging over her nearly shapeless frame. She wore no jewelry. Her one remaining vanity, long hair, perfectly combed. The henchman placed her firmly against the block and with a blank and helpless stare Katherine moved her beautiful locks to one side exposing her slender neck.
I waited for her to jump to her feet and scream out in defiance, “What have I done that your precious King isn’t guilty of?”
Laying her head sideways on the block, she awaited her fate in silence.
The black-hooded killer appeared to us like a giant standing over her. A moment before, even the handle of the axe and the blade had been taller than the living little queen. He drew back.
I heard the neck cracking then a thud as the girl’s head crashed to the platform floor. Steam rose from the blood pouring in a warm pool from the lifeless body slumped behind the block.
Gene Hobbs had acquired the only known account of the gruesome event; one can imagine that onlookers must have rushed to write on whatever they could find to recount the scene. The metaphor of the rich over the poor and the machinery of torture in the room made me shudder. Reading the narrative, I felt sickened by the horror of the day, for lost innocence and the tyranny of the time. What a waste of a beautiful young life; what a disgrace for England.
About Jack Canon’s American Destiny
Author: Greg Sandora
Genre: Political Thriller
It’s the steamy summer of 2016 in Washington, D.C. just days before the Democratic National Convention. A long and painful recession has left ordinary Americans suffering, spawning the hottest Presidential Contest in history. Jack Canon, a man born into privilege, a witness to great social injustice is going to be President of the United States–no matter what! Desperate and corrupt, the leader of the free world orders a hit to slow him down. The plan backfires–the wrong people are dead–a manhunt points to the unthinkable–The President of the United States.
Rewind one year, Jack’s focus on redistribution of wealth and energy has made him powerful enemies. Once his friends, Rogue Billionaires, Oil Sheiks, the Mob, all want him gone. The current President wants him alive–thinking he can win against an unabridged liberal. A Universal Raw Nerve of wealth vs. poverty is exposed becoming a thrill ride as deep machinations of espionage, geo-politics and deception, even murder play out. Kind and charismatic, Jack’s just naughty enough to have you falling for him like one of his loving circle of loyal friends. Of course he’s flawed, a dedicated family man, faithful to one woman, but in love with two. Is it his fault his best friend is impossibly jaw dropping beautiful? Think the crime and passion of the Godfather meets the romance and innocence of Camelot. A story that could spark a movement, a book that can seed a revolution. A heart thumping climax so shocking you’ll pull the covers and draw the shades! One things for sure, through all the drama and suspense, you’ll be pulling for Jack!
I’m originally from the Portland, Maine area and lived and worked there for years before moving to Southwest Florida. I am currently working on the sequel to Jack Canon’s American Destiny – which will be titled Jack Canon Clean Sweep. The sequel will be available in about three months.
My Dad and Mom were artists, my father painted and my mother wrote poetry and loved to garden. Most Saturdays we loaded up the 1970 Chevy Impala to trek to a one man show somewhere or other. I took a different track graduating with a business degree; owning and operating an Award Winning Franchise Fitness Center. Currently a professional manager I am living in Florida with my beautiful wife and children, and following my passion.
Some of my other projects include a children’s book called Sammy the Sea Turtle – about an infant sea turtle taken from his nest the night he was to find his way to the sea. Sammy lives with the family until their son – the boy who took him, graduates from high school. On that day Sammy, backpack in tow – begins the long journey home.
My second project in the works involves angels – a man during a visit to Bar Harbor Maine encounters an angel; quite accidentally, he is told – she was not supposed to make him aware of her existence. Only three others have ever seen the real thing. Naturally he falls hopelessly in love with the beautiful creature.
Links for purchase
http://amzn.com/B00BOE5KW4 for kindle
http://amzn.com/1939383250 for paperback